Photo credit: Billie Weiss / Getty Image Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The New England Patriots are coming off a 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings and that score was somewhat surprising because Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs are usually good for at least 20 points. Yet once the final whistle had blown Mike Zimmer’s ball club was left frustrated with their lack of offensive output. The reason this is such a big deal is because last season the Patriots finished the year with the 29th ranked defense. Even though they’re currently 21st this season that can be the difference between sacking a QB late in the game or forcing a three and out and getting the ball back for Tom Brady and the offense. Which makes it apparent that New England is much less vulnerable on the defensive side of the ball. The player who is mostly responsible for this uptick is definitely Trey Flowers. Bill Belichick doesn’t have a 10 sacks guy on his roster but Flowers has the potential to be reach that mark someday. With 4.5 sacks the 25 year old defensive end (Flowers) does give this franchise something off the edge. The other main contributor has definitely been Deatrich Wise who also has 4.5 sacks. Those are the two top performers and then Adrian Clayborn is also a part of that rotation. Obviously those three ends are much better than what New England tried to get by with a year ago. Remember Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long left after the Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons. Belichick couldn’t reload in 2017 but now it seems like the Patriots have enough to at least get the stops that they need. Now if there is any concern it’s that their offense is starting to lose a step but maybe Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise, and Adrian Clayborn can force some turnovers and create additional opportunities for Tom Brady, Sony Michel, and Josh Gordon. Who knows maybe that will be the difference between winning and losing the Super Bowl?
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